There are many things that are capable of causing night sweats and chills. Among them are fevers, which often occur as a symptom of a bacterial or viral infection. Often, however, a person will also sweat at night and develops chills in response to the hormonal changes that take place during menopause or pregnancy, or following childbirth. Likewise, a person may sometimes experience night sweats and chills because he has cancer or a disorder that affects the nerves of his body. Additionally, certain medications are capable of producing these symptoms.
In most cases, the presence of night sweats and chills is no real cause for alarm. In many cases, they are simply unpleasant symptoms of some type of infection. For example, a person may experience these symptoms when he has a viral infection, such as the flu or pneumonia; some people may also experience them when they have a common cold. An individual who has a bacterial case of pneumonia may also develop chills and night sweats, and a fungal infection that affects the lungs may cause them as well. It is important to note that, though these symptoms may not be dangerous, a person may need treatment for the conditions that cause them.
In some cases, night sweats and chills are not caused by infection but are instead the result of hormonal changes. Hormonal fluctuations common during pregnancy and child birth influence a woman’s blood vessels and may cause her to sweat at night and experience chills. Likewise, hormonal changes may cause these symptoms during the period that follows childbirth.
Sometimes serious conditions may be the root of these symptoms, however. For example, some types of cancer may cause them, and nerve disorders may cause them as well. Since night sweating and chills can be symptoms of a serious medical condition, a person may do well to consult a medical professional if he has unexplained symptoms for more than two weeks.
Even medication can sometimes cause a person to suffer from night sweats and chills. Some people experience flushing as a side effect of certain medications, including those that are injected into the body, used to treat pain, or intended to relax the muscles. Once the flushing is over and the body is left sweaty, a person may then feel chilled. Often, the sweats and chills are severe enough to wake the patient in the middle of the night.